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Source- PHD Chamber Feb 25 2012
Insurance Foundation of India-NGO Working for Micro Insurance
Interview | Mr S.K.Sethi Vice President Insurance Foundation of India
By Amit Tripathi
Mr. S K Sethi, Vice President, Insurance Foundation of India, in an interview to Amit Tripathi shared his views on various issues related to micro insurance.
Mr. Sethi, Let me first congratulate you on the successful programme IFINGO organized on Risk assessment and Fire Insurance claims in association with PHD Chamber. We would like you to share the details of your organization and future plans you have for the organization.
Mr. S. K. Sethi Vice President ‘Insurance Foundation of India’ making presentation on ‘Risk Assessment- is it a necessity’.
Question1:- What made you think about setting up of NGO for insurance sector?
Answer:- Penetration of insurance in India is very low because insurance has been limited to metro/ large cities. No effort has been made to tell the masses about insurance and that too in the easy to understand language or should we say in Hindi & Vernacular languages. Insurance was not introduced as a subject in Schools /Colleges. What can you expect from those who have graduated in Hindi medium with History & Geography as subjects and are working as freelance agents of life insurance companies and are trying to sell ULIP product with English literature /proposal forms? It gives a good chance for mis-selling especially when the buyer also does not understand English language.
Making the above mentioned points as our objectives we decided to set up this NGO for spreading the message of Insurance among masses in English /Hindi /vernacular languages. We are also working towards introduction of insurance as a subject in class 10 &12, undergraduate courses / post graduate courses.
Question2:- What are the major activities of IFINGO?
Answer:- These are:
  • Organizing workshops for small and medium enterprises on micro health insurance and micro term insurance in Hindi and other vernacular language in addition to English language.
  • Customizing and arranging insurance product such as term plan and group health Insurance for small/medium enterprises.
  • To educate end users of Insurance policy to ensure they understand and buy correct policy to protect its interest.
  • Through Legal Cell to provide assistance to insurance customers (comprising of individuals/families/ corporate/NGO’s/institutions) in settlement of claims.
  • To organize workshops for those working for Insurance industry and for common people who may like to participate and get knowledgeable about the Insurance policies/products.
Question3:- Can you give details of some of the projects undertaken by you?
Answer:- Micro insurance is one of our prestigious project. There are many people working in micro, tiny, small & medium industrial units / organizations which are employing 7 to 100 employees. These organizations cannot get group policies issued as insurance companies wish to have group of at least 100 members or higher .Under micro insurance or group term insurance policy or group health insurance policy we will fulfill the need of these organizations. Let them contact us and we will give them benefit of group even if they have 5 employees. We invite all of you to contact us at vp@ifingo.org or 09810090853.
Let us give you an example an individual can get term insurance policy from any Life Insurance Company, if he agrees to pay Rs 2000 or higher. This is because policy issuing cost is at least Rs. 800 or higher. However, we can cover your employee or member (age 35 or lower) for sum assured of Rs 1 lakh by paying Rs 140 or even less. Let us spread message of insurance among your employees by using Micro Insurance Model. We are an NGO, who are self less in our approach and our objective is to serve the society and especially weaker section of the society.
We at IFI aim to educate and empower these very people at grass root level /village level through the platform of PHD Chamber to take insurance cover and protect themselves and their dependants.
Question4:- We have heard about your “Support Your Support Staff Project”. Can you give us the details?
Answer:- Our group insurance policy under “Support Your Support Staff Project” will cover Drivers/ Maid/ Servant/ Cook/ Mali/ Guard/ Chowkider or anyone who is your support staff. You can cover him/ her under our Group Life Insurance policy/ Group Health Insurance policy.
Coverage Sum Assured Premium/Year
Group Life Cover Rs.1Lakh Rs.140
Group Health Insurance cover Rs.50,000 Rs.750
Total   Rs.890
Note: Both are independent of each other. You may choose life only.
This will cost you Rs.2.43 per day. This is nothing in comparison to what you pay/ spend for cook who is paid on monthly basis:
Salary              Rs.7000
Food                Rs.3500
Clothing etc     Rs.700
Total                Rs.11200
This amounts to Rs.373 per day on which adding of Rs.2.43 per day is too nominal an amount.
We have come across instances where employer had to pay Rs.70,000 for hospitalization of a driver. In another instance death of a servant resulted in payment of Rs.3 lakhs to servant’s family.
Question5:- It is possible to cover the support staff for sum higher than Rs.1 lakh/ Rs.50000 as mentioned above?
Answer:- Yes, it is possible by paying additional premium on same rates.
Question6:- What is your target for “Support Your Support Staff” project?
Answer:- We have target for covering 1 lakh persons under this scheme. We have not fixed time frame. But we feel with support of members of PHD Chamber of Commerce & industry, this can be achieved in 12 to 18 months. Associations can support this project by intimating their members to avail this facility.
Question7:- What have been achievements of IFINGO?
Answer:- IFI had taken matter with Ministry of Human Resources, Government of India for
  • Inclusion of Insurance as a subject in class 10 and 12 as well as at the undergraduate level in universities.
  • Setting up of 6 Indian Institute of Insurance on lines of Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Information Technology, Post Graduate colleges for Medical (AIIMS)
Due to our efforts the Vocational Education Department of National Institute of Open schooling (NIOS) has introduced "Diploma in Insurance Services". We are very optimistic on this course and foresee that around 5 lakh students would complete this diploma in next 5 years and spread the knowledge of insurance to rural / semi urban areas. They will become employable as various insurance companies will be keen to employ them.
Question8:- What are the future plans IFINGO?
Answer:- IFINGO aims to conduct seminars/workshops/ training programs for members of PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry. We intend to conduct at least one seminar/workshop/ training programme every month for the benefit of the members at their premises in Hindi or English or regional language. By doing so we will be educating/empowering at least 10,000 people on yearly basis. Further, our endeavour would be provide cover to maximum people under micro insurance heath and life policies, especially for micro, small & medium organizations employing 7 to 100 employees.
Question9:- What is the source of funding for your programmes?
Answer:- We being an NGO get membership fee from individual members and corporate members. As large member of projects are to be handled therefore we are looking for financial support from organizations/insurance companies and philanthropists. Organizations can support us under their CSR projects. We understand amendments in Companies Act will make it mandatory for profit making companies to allocate certain % of net profit to be made available for CSR projects. We are ready to work with members of PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry on project to project basis.
Question10:- Who can become the member of the IFI NGO?
Answer:- Any individual /corporate/ Institution/NGO/Association can become a member of IFI NGO. We have very nominal charges for becoming the member of IFI NGO. However, the benefits are humongous. As part from the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Corporate/Institutions can share good practices among other members and simultaneously contribute to growth of Insurance knowledge among young executives.
It also gives opportunity to Faculty Members to share their knowledge with Industry representatives through industry associations such as PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Membership Details
Fees Individual Corporate
Entry Fee Rs. 100 Rs. 500 Rs. 10,000 Rs. 10,000 Rs. 10,000
Yearly Fee Rs. 100 Rs. 1,100 Rs. 2,50,000 Rs. 50,000 Rs. 2,50,000
For membership queries, contact us at vp@ifingo.org or 09810090853.
Question11:- What are the benefits patron member can achieve?
Answer:- There are numerous benefits we offer to our patron members. These include:
  • Free News Letters on Insurance with special focus on microinsurance.
  • Opportunity to nominate representatives to attend short term training programme organized by us in various parts of India at a discount of 25%.
  • Get nominated from IFI NGO on discussion panels and programmes organized by industry chambers such as PHD chamber relating to insurance development.
  • Attend programme/workshops in India/abroad as part of IFI delegation.
  • Opportunity to conduct joint Insurance Training Programmes / workshops.
  • Avail free advice from our Legal Department on logging of claims, taking up the claim matter with Insurance Ombudsman, Consumer Forum.
  • Get Overseas Travel Insurance Policy with better terms and that too at an attractive premium.
  • Get Health Insurance Policy with better terms and that too at an attractive premium
  • Support in customizing and arranging micro insurance product such as term insurance and group health Insurance.
  • Technical assistance in micro insurance scheme implementation for small and medium enterprises or community
  • Get advice from fellow members / faculty on various issues pertaining to insurance.
Question12:- What are other key benefits to the members of IFI NGO?
Answer:- As a member you get support from IFI NGO in numerous ways.
  1. You can invite IFINGO faculty/ volunteers to conduct workshop/seminar/training programmes on your premises in Hindi or English for the benefit of Employees/ Groups/Associations as part of Human resources development initiatives. 
  2. You can send participants from your organizations and IFINGO will organize workshops for them in Hindi and other vernacular language in addition to English at an appropriate place with help of Volunteers/Faculty Members. Insurance education is very important to make people acknowledge & accept the benefits of insurance, and attract them to join such Risk Management Schemes.
Mr. Sethi, It was a pleasure having such an absorbing discussion and thank you for sharing your thoughts. We hope IFINGO would be successful in accomplishing it noble goals with support from PHD Chamber and its members.

All the best.
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